Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Worlds Most Cost Efficient Heating with DRAGIN GeoThermal

January 8, 2008
The Worlds Most Cost Efficient Heating with DRAGIN GeoThermal
DRAGIN Geothermal to Sponsor the Boston Going Green Expo
Press Release from Going Green
DRAGIN Geothermal Well Drilling Inc. with offices in Wareham, MA and Meredith, NH offers geothermal services and a "green" heating and cooling alternative for businesses and residence.
“Businesses and residents alike are looking for ways to conserve energy for both financial and environmental considerations,” said DJ Quagliaroli, President, adding, “The geothermal heating and cooling systems save energy, slash utility bills, reduce hot water costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce maintenance costs.”

According to the EPA (1993) geothermal heat pumps are the world's most advanced and most cost-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. Geothermal heat pumps operate at 75% greater efficiency than oil furnaces, 48% greater efficiency than gas furnaces and 40% greater efficiency than air source heat pumps.

The way it works is simple. The Earth absorbs 50% of all solar energy. Groundwater in New England is at a relatively constant temperature of 52 degrees all year long. In winter, this warmth is extracted by pumping groundwater out of the well. The well water is pumped to a heat pump inside the home. The heat pump concentrates the earth's thermal energy and transfers it to forced hot air ductwork and/or radiant flooring throughout the home.

In the summer, the process is reversed; heat is extracted from air inside the house and transferred to the biggest "heat sink" of all-Mother Earth-by way of the well. Prior to expelling the heat, the geothermal system sends excess heat through the home’s hot water tank to provide free hot water anytime the air conditioning is in use. With geothermal there are no worries about carbon monoxide, fuel leaks or spills, fumes, soot or even unsightly and noisy air conditioning units outside the home.

More than 1 million geothermal systems have been installed in the United States as the technology’s popularity continues to rise. It is estimated that these systems have saved 8 billion kwh of electricity and reduced the amount of CO2 by 5.8 million metric tons. This monumental impact is equivalent to taking 1,295,000 cars off the road or planting more than 385 million trees!

DRAGIN Geothermal recently completed a two-month project at Byerly Hall on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The project encompassed the drilling of five wells within a compact work area. The geothermal system is expected to be in operation at Byerly Hall by the spring of 2008.

DRAGIN Geothermal is sponsoring the Waste Management Inc. Going Green Expo in Boston. The event will be held on February 2nd and 3rd at the Bayside Expo Center, and will be the third green event of its kind hosted by Going Green Magazine. With hundreds of Green exhibitors and dozens of Green workshops, the Boston expo promises to attract an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 consumers. Come see us there!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Energy Source May Turn Cars into Cash Cows!

January 17, 2008
Will a Breakthrough Technology Turn Your Future Car into a 100 kW Power Plant?
Sebastopol, CA

A revolutionary breakthrough by Magnetic Power Inc., called GENIE™ (Generating Electricity by Nondestructive Interference of Energy) promises to make possible the elimination of the need for batteries of every variety. GENIE generators are expected to replace the need to plug-in a plug-in hybrid. Two kW is all the power that can be taken from a typical wall socket. A pair of 1 kW GENIE generators are expected to demonstrate a compact, inexpensive, capability to end the need to plug-in, prior to the end this year.

If the development of GENIE generators is put on a 24/7 footing, it may be possible to provide 100 kW systems that will fit in the space of a typical gas tank, on a prototype basis in perhaps two years. If that occurs, since no fuel or battery recharge is required, automobile manufacturers may conclude that engines are likely to become obsolete. Consumer purchasing patterns could begin to reflect a new reality, with the market deciding most future cars must be totally electric, since they will never need any variety of fuel. Better yet, many cars might become cash cows! cash cow: Slang. A steady dependable source of income

The economics are likely to prove compelling. Until now, car ownership has been an expense. Vehicle to Grid power (V2G), has been explored in a modest way for hybrids. Plug-in hybrids, equipped with a two way plug, can feed power to the local utility while parked. This is at least 90% of the time for the average vehicle. Professor Willet Kempton, at the University of Delaware, has stated the car’s owner could earn up to $4,000 every year.

GENIE powered cars are expected to be capable of generating at least 75 kW and perhaps 100 kW in the volume of a typical fuel tank. In the case of luxury cars, trucks and buses, it seems 150 kW will prove practical. Technology already exists that, using inductive electronics, can wirelessly couple up to 150 kW to the grid from parked vehicles. No plug connection will be required.

A large plug installed in a hybrid would provide, at most, perhaps 12 kW to the utility. If that 12 kW can annually pay the vehicle owner $4,000, imagine what the income might be with an inductively coupled 75 kW or larger GENIE generator. If the price per kW is the same as that used in the University of Delaware analysis, we could be considering payments totaling $25,000, or more, per year. With utility cooperation, the GENIE powered car can become a cash cow!

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. stated that two million customers lost power during the recent California storms. GENIE powered cars will be able to wirelessly power the average home. Imagine the economic and human advantages!

When a substantial number of vehicles powered by GENIE generators fill a parking garage, it will have become a multi-megawatt power plant.

Doubtless, when millions of cars and trucks are selling power to the grid, the price per kilowatt paid will decline. However, it still seems likely that the cost of many vehicles might be paid for by utilities, as they purchase power whenever needed. The parked cars, trucks and buses, each become decentralized power plants - a rapid, cost-effective alternative to the many tough and costly challenges of constructing new coal burning and nuclear power generation facilities. Utilities and vehicle manufacturers have a unique opportunity to lead the nation and the world into a dramatic reduction in the need for oil. Future wars over energy supply might be avoided.

James Hansen, NASA Goddard, stated (January 2, 2008): “The earth is close to passing climate change ‘tipping points.’ Greenhouse gases released in burning fossil fuels are nearing a level that will set in motion dangerous effects, many irreversible, including extermination of countless species, ice sheet disintegration and sea-level rise, and intensified regional climate extremes. As a society we face a stark choice. Move on to the next phase of the industrial revolution, preserving and restoring wonders of the natural world, while maintaining and expanding benefits of advanced technology. Or ignore the problem, sentencing humanity and other creatures to struggle on an increasingly desolate planet.”

What better way to address the problem than by turning cars into decentralized power plants?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Israeli EDIG Solar provides hybrid solution for cloudy days

By Karin Kloosterman
January 13, 2008

Solar energy is an exciting option to greenhouse gas producing power sources, because the sun offers unlimited power, and zero carbon emissions. But to make it a real-world energy alternative, kinks in the system need to be addressed.

One of the biggest drawbacks to using solar energy is its unreliability: the sun's rays are not constant, and the power cannot be stored. The Israeli company EDIG, working in traditional markets of electro-mechanics since 1971, believes it has the solution, in the form of a low-cost hybrid generator.

Through subsidiary EDIG Solar, the company plans to make solar energy a viable power alternative. The company's power plant is hybrid, meaning that like electric cars, the system's turbines can adapt to more than one energy source.

During a rainy day, the solar turbines can switch over and run on traditional or alternative fuel.

"It's modular, meaning it can easily be increased in size, and it is flexible in terms of fuel use. It can be powered by bio-diesel, bio-gas or fossil fuels," explains the company's CTO Pinhas Doron, an engineer.

When it comes to alternative energy options, one technology does not fit all, he says. "Every application has to be examined on its own merit, and the best solution applied to it. Our solution works well for grid connected electricity, where there is ample sun."

Based on the research of Prof. Jacob Karni, director of the Center for Energy Research at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, EDIG's technology attracts the sun and concentrates it by way of tiny mirrors on the ground.

The thermal energy generated by the sun drives turbines in a tower, the same turbines that can be powered by traditional fuel, the moment a cloud passes overhead, or at night when the sun sets.

And in doing this, "our hybrid solution addresses the issue of intermittency of solar radiation," says Doron.

Admittedly, he will not try to sell this solution to the northern states in America, or to Canadians, but it would be perfect for places where there is direct radiation, such as in the southwest USA, southern Spain, or in India, he says.

EDIG recently built a 100 kW pilot plant study in Nanjing, China. It included a power conversion unit (a solarized gas turbine and a solar receiver), which was installed on a tower, and a field of heliostats (sun-tracking mirrors).
The unit was fully operational and supplied power to the local electric grid, says Doron. "We proved our concept - we connected to the grid and operated seamlessly," he reports. The next step is building a plant in Israel's Arava Desert, which should be ready by next year.
While the company is not reinventing the "solar" wheel, its IP rests in at least two areas, says Doron. It's solar "receiver" is based on patented Weizmann technology, and the modifications on the turbine, which allows it to switch energy sources and at high temperatures, without the user noticing it, was difficult to overcome.

Of course, when the solution is being operated in hybrid mode, there are "no zero emissions," says Doron. "But during optimal conditions of sunshine, it could be. Fuel use would be minimal," he stresses.

Will this be a solar solution we can all live with? Avraham Israeli, a private consultant and previously a trade exec at Israel's Export Institute for clean technologies, recommends EDIG as the most promising solar energy company in Israel, if not the world.

"The company is implementing a technology of solar thermal electricity generation. It seems to be the most cost-effective technology in the market," he told ISRAEL21c.

And if the new hybrid plant from Israel doesn't live up to the promise and hype, there is always the sun.

Jerusalem Gets First Solar-Powered Dumpster

January 16, '08
( Jerusalem's municipality has placed its first solar-powered garbage dumpster on Jaffa Road, in the city center, according to Globes.

The solar-powered dumpster can accommodate 750 liters (200 gallons) of compacted waste even though it is only 150 liters in size.

The dumpster has a built-in solar-powered compression system that can compress garbage to up to a fifth of its volume and operates for up to five days on the power supplied by just one hour of sunlight.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Introducing the Solar Tree for Street Lighting

by Jane Burgermeister, European Correspondent

December 21, 2007
The streets of Europe could soon be lit by solar energy due to the fact that a solar tree prototype recently passed a key test phase.

The solar trees went on display for four weeks in October on a busy street — the Ringstrasse — in Vienna, Austria. They were able to provide enough light during the night-time even when the sun did not show for as much as four days in a row.

"The solar cells on the tree were able to store enough electricity in spite of receiving no direct solar light for days at a time because of the clouds. They showed that solar trees really are a practical form of street lighting," Christina Werner from Cultural Project Management (Kulturelles Projektmanagement, Vienna) told

She said that the City of Vienna was now in the process of deciding whether to install more solar trees.

"We hope that not only the city of Vienna but other cities will see the merits of using renewable energy for street lighting to cut emissions," Christina Werner said. "Someday soon solar trees could well be the main form of street lighting in Europe."

Putting solar powered LED light systems on trees would cut down on the carbon emissions and also slash the bills of local authorities, she said.

Street lighting consumed 10 percent of all the electricity used in Europe in 2006 or 2,000 billion KWh, and resulted in carbon emissions of 2,900 million ton.

The use of more energy-efficient lighting in the Austrian city of Graz, with a population of almost 300,000 saved the city 524,000 KWh of electricity and 67,200 euros [US $96,800] in 2005.

Close up of branches on a solar tree in Vienna. (Credit: Gerhard Koller/MAK)

"Not just trees but other objects could be decorated with solar cells and so keep streets well lit at night time," she said.

The branches of the solar tree were decorated with 10 solar lamps, each one comprising 36 solar cells; they also had rechargeable batteries and electronic systems.

A sensor was used to measure the amount of light in the atmosphere and trigger the solar lamps to go on automatically at sunset and off at sunrise.

The tree's lights went on for the first time in Vienna on October 8, 2007 at 11:00 pm. They are now on display outside the La Scala opera house in Milan.

The tree was designed by Ross Lovegrove, a British designer, who said that they are not only efficient but also attractive and bring "nature into a gray city environment".

An Italian company specializing in designer lighting systems, Artemide, as well as the world's largest producer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, the German company Sharp Solar, joined forces to turn the design into reality.

The idea came from Peter Noever, the Director of the Austrian Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna (Österreichisches Museum fuer angewandte Kunst).

Solar Tree, prototype, November 2007, designed by Ross Lovegrove and produced and developed by Artemide polycrystalline solar cells by Sharp. On display at the Piazza della Scala, Milan, Italy. (Photo by David Zanardi)

Ross Lovegrove and Sharp are now working on the design study for a car that is powered by solar energy.

Sharp solar had a production volume of 434 megawatts in 2006 and a world market share of 17 percent. It produces PV cells in a factory in Katsuragi, Japan.

Most of Sharp's modules are used for solar energy systems on roofs, but the company believes that solar cells could soon be used in all areas of everyday life from clothes to satellites - including Christmas trees.

Jane Burgermeister is a European Correspondent based in Vienna, Austria.